5 things Friday: Fitness options around the city

Fitness Image Credit Shutterstock.com

This week’s 5 things Friday is a guest post from fellow mama Isa Szeto.

I first met Isa and her adorable son at a mommy/toddler group at the Pacific Spirit Health Office. Like many of us, she’s a working mama trying to fit everything in. Fitness is very important to her and she graciously offered to write about the best places she’s found to workout with childcare available. I’ve also added a couple options after her write-up to give you an even 5 options.

Hot (and Sweaty) Mama
by Isa Szeto

Plenty of options for new Moms to get their sweat on and get fit again

As a new Mom of a 15 month old boy, one of the biggest changes in my routine was the challenge of how to stay as active as I was before I had a child.  The sponteneity that I had before (like taking off for an afternoon bike ride with friends or a run in the rain) suddenly was not possible with a newborn if my husband was at work or unavailable due to travel.  But after doing some research, I discovered there are lots of great options in Vancouver for new Moms to keep fit.

While some Moms keep fit while walking with their babies in strollers or doing fitness classes together with their babies, I sought facilities that had quality childminding, so that I could have a hard workout and a precious one or two hours of “me” time, while my toddler was safe and enjoying some new toys and playmates and change of scenery from home.

So here are some fitness places in Vancouver that have childminding onsite.  A healthy, reduced-stress Mom is a happy Mom!  (Please note, you must stay in each facility for the childminding staff to reach you in case of emergency.  Rarely happens but just in case! )

Richmond Oval
My personal favourite place to work out, maybe because Apolo Ohno skated there during the 2010 Winter Olympics!  Their fitness centre is 23,000 sq. ft. of the world’s best strength and cardio equipment. More than 50 fitness classes every week to choose from, so you can do a hard spin class, yoga, interval training, guided weight lifting, on top of using their indoor 2 km running track, free weights, climbing wall or hitting the stairmaster and watching TV from their 200 channels.  Plus there are basketball and volleyball courts and an ice rink. Large spacious change rooms with the “tall” lockers (but you can use the stubby “half” height lockers, too) with no need for coins to lock them up.  Free covered parking for members.  (This means a lot when it’s pouring outside and you’re struggling with a infant/toddler and all his or her stuff.)

The childminding area has one wall of windows so there is plenty of natural light, plus it feels bigger than it is.  A large variety of toys plus a climbing area in one corner, plus a crafts table and pint-sized toilet facilities for the little ones.  The staff in childminding are very professional and caring.

The childminding hours are the best – most morning and evenings so you’ve got the flexibility to hit up the gym when it suits your busy schedule!

Childminding hours:
Monday – Friday: 9AM – 1PM
Monday – Thursday: 5PM – 8PM
Saturday: 9AM – 12PM

Cost: $4/hour
Other details: $2 for 1/2 hour; 10 hour and 100 hour punch cards with reduced rates available at Guest Services

More info:

Dunbar Community Center
Gym equipment, drop-in fitness classes and drop-in spin classes await you.  Or you can skip the workout and just enjoy some sauna and whirlpool time and enjoy a hour or two of relaxation. Woman, you deserve it!

Large sauna: You could invite 10 of your BFF’s and you’d still have room to spare in their large sauna.  More than likely, though, you’ll have the entire sauna all to yourself to enjoy the heat and quiet time.
Whirlpool: Hot bubbling action to release the tension away.

The childminding area has plenty of toys, plus exersaucers for pre-mobile babies.

Childminding hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:45AM – 12PM

Cost: $6/hour
Other details: 10 hour punch cards with reduced rates available at the front desk

More info:

Hillcrest Centre

Hillcrest Centre was the Olympic Curling venue during the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Following The 2010 Games, the facility was converted to a legacy facility that currently houses a new community centre, ice rink, aquatic centre, preschool, library and curling rink.

Inside you’ll find a wide range of activities for health and fitness: a state-of-the-art 3,500 sq. ft. fitness centre, drop-in spin classes, leisure pool with water toys, sprays, jets, water cannons and lazy river, an outdoor pool open in the summer with sprays and bubble jets, a 70 person hot tub, plus Family and Adult change rooms, including 4 accessible showers, 10 accessible toilets, 2 accessible change cubicles, 8 universal shower cubicles.

Childminding hours:
Monday – Friday 9AM – 11AM

Cost: $7.50/2 hours

Other details: Maximum 2 infants and 8 kids at one time. First come first served

More info:


Thank you Isa for doing the research for all us mamas! The childminding hours and background are so useful so we can perfectly plan our workouts between naps, snacks, etc.

And, as mentioned, a couple more options if you want baby with you:

Fit 4 Two Classes, available around the Lower Mainland. These are primarily for moms with pre-mobile babies. The instructors are excellent and it’s a nice way to meet other mamas in your neighborhood.

Barefit and Pregnant Classes on W. Broadway @ Alma – join Susie for a workout while your kids of all ages play amongst the exercising mamas. If your little one is a bit fussy during your workout, Susie is right there to pick them up and comfort them, giving you a bit of relief while she puts you through the paces.

And, Modern Mama’s next Essential Series Topic is on Post-Natal Fitness and getting your body back, inside and out. Melanie Osmack from Fit 4 Two and Kim Vopni from Fitness Doula will be on hand to talk fitness strategies, core strength, and answer all your questions. Plus, they’re bringing some excellent prizes with them! REGISTER.

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